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The Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA) has officially given satellite television licenses to Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC), Walta Information Center (WIC) and Arki Broadcasting Service. It is the first time that such licenses have been given to private institutions.
At a ceremony held at the Sheraton Addis Hotel on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, the Authority signed several agreements with the licensed companies and also encouraged them to start their work as soon as possible.
EBA also signed an agreement with Tana Communication Plc and Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC) to manufacture digital set-top boxes locally. As the Authority works to transition from analogue to a digital system, the manufacturers are expected to start providing the set-top boxes to the market within 11 months.
According to Zeray Asgedom Director General of EBA, transitioning to a digital system will have a significant effect on quality of transmission. “To make the transition to a digital system efficient, the production of a set-top box is very crucial,” he stated. He further said that the decision to produce the box contributes to technology transfer as well and will allow the product to be sold in the country at an affordable price.
Present at the ceremony was Dr Debretsion Gebremichael, Deputy Prime Minister for Finance and Economic Cluster and Minister of Communication and Information Technology who underlined that prime attention from the government has been given for the transfer from analog to digital television broadcast technology.
“Different activities are being carried out to make the transition from analogue to digital as efficient as possible, with little inconvenience as well as cost,” he stated. He also called on all those that were given broadcasting licenses to carry out their job with responsibility and in a way that will advance the country’s developmental goals.
Besides the Television licenses, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority also issued private commercial FM radio licenses to Lucy, Ahadu and Arki.